*Says FG not committed to relocation of oil firms
Port Harcourt — From all indications, the Federal Government is not committed to the clamor for the relocation of oil firms to the Niger Delta region, a group known as the Niger Delta Peace Coalition, NPDC, has said
The group explained that all what the government need, is to move industry regulators to the region, such as NNPC, NAPIMS and DPR, to spurr the oil multinationals and indigenous oil firms to relocate their headquarters to the region, without compulsion.
National Coordinator of the group, Zik Gbemre, said it was worrisome that years after the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, joined the campaign for the relocation of the corporate headquarters of oil multinationals to the Niger Delta, no oil from has heeded the call.
Gbemre explained that in USA, the headquarters and operational offices of oil and gas companies are located in Houston, not New York nor Washington D.C, and not even in Austin City, the capital of Texas.
He recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, relocated NPA from Abuja to Lagos and gave ‘Ship House’ to the Nigerian Defence Headquarters because, Abuja without a seaport was a misplaced host to NPA headquarters, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to follow suit.
“We are certain the IOCs and emerging indigenous oil and gas companies, servicing firms will promptly relocate headquarters to their operating environment and not remain in Lagos and Abuja, if FG lead by example. So the problem is not really the IOCs but FG and its industry regulators.
“With DPR saddled with approving downstream and upstream stakes, NAPIMS which regulates the commercial aspect of IOCs and oil indigenous companies both controlled from Lagos and the NNPC in Abuja, the majors would remain in Lagos and Abuja where the corporate action takes place.
“It is a fact that all major contracts in the industry are awarded through NAPIMS in Lagos. As such, every major oil and gas company wants their investments safe and secure close to those who regulate and manage the industry on behalf of the Federal Government.
“Even the few NNPC subsidiaries operating in the Niger Delta, all have their Managing Directors in the NNPC Towers, Abuja, and work from there. This means all decisions concerning the industry, the operations of NNPC and its subsidiaries, are taken in the said NNPC Towers.”